Data Tracker

The 10 biggest Sacramento storms of the past 100 years

By Phillip Reese and Pete Basofin

This past weekend's storm system wreaked havoc, but it's unlikely to go down in Sacramento lore, which is rich with tales of massive downpours and crippling floods.

During the past 100 years, 10 storms have dumped at least 2.8 inches of rain on downtown Sacramento over the course of a single day. (By comparison, the worst day from this weekend's storms saw about 1.6 inches of rain.)

Here's headlines and summaries for each of those big storms taken from Bee stories written soon after they hit.


Oct. 13, 1962 (3.63 inches)

Headline: Sacramento streets flood in wake of plummeting rain




April 7, 1935 (3.35 inches)

Headline: One missing, fifty saved in waters here


Feb. 17, 1986 (3.21 inches)

Headline: Deluge batters Capital, floods condos






Jan. 21, 1943 (3.14 inches)

Headline: Property toll is taken as rivers mount; Lowlands are inundated along courses of both streams


Sept. 12, 1918 (3.13 inches)

Headline: Grapes are hit hard by the heavy rains; Fifty percent damage is estimated in the Tokay districts




Jan. 24, 2000 (3.11 inches)

Headline: Record storm wallops region; Fears of drought vanish in deluge


Jan. 4, 1982 (3.10 inches)

Headline: Wet, wild storm savages north state




Oct. 13, 2009 (3.04 inches)

Headline: Rainy season roars in; Strong storm soaks capital, cuts power and snaps trees


Jan. 21, 1967 (2.87 inches)

Headline: Storm lashes across upper part of state




Jan. 9, 1995 (2.83 inches)

Headline: Storm swamps Capital streets; local emergency proclaimed




Source: National Climatic Data Center

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